In the Blog
Sports series: When you gotta go ...
Story shared with permission!
In an effort to try and get my body ready for pregnancy, this queer brown girl trying to get pregnant took up running about a year and a half ago. A friend of mine, let’s call her Sharon, suggested we register for the Toronto Women’s Run, a charity run that happens every year in East York to raise money for pediatric oncology and research.
Sharon and I spent once a week training on the route of the run in Sunnybrook Park, and I spent time twice a week running as far and as long as I could, having never run before. For about two months I trained by running around my neighbourhood and Sharon and I did a 5km walk once a week.
On the day of the run, Sharon and I were in a bit of a pickle. We certainly weren’t prepared for all the aspects of a charity run as this was our first time. We arrived, having forgot to pick up our numbers (the numbered sign you pin to the back of your shirt) and our running package. We were already a bit thrown off.
As the minutes ticked by, Sharon and I got ready to take off at the starting line. We were surrounded by 250 other women in a tight space at the starting line, with many women raring to go once the gun went off. Sharon hadn’t trained as much as I had, so we had often talked about walking the entire 5km and being proud of just that.
With the women runners packed in like sardines on the starting line, just before the race begins, Sharon turns to me and says “I think we are gonna have to run this thing, eh?” Before I can even laugh, the race starts and 250 women start running through the park.
Now, there are trees on either side of us and we are running on a path about a meter and a half wide, so the women are tightly running together. There is no way you can slow down and walk and there is no way you can veer off the path to slow down because you would bang into a tree. So Sharon and I must run.
We run about a kilometer and a half before there is a clearing with no trees on either side and the runners disperse enough so we can slow down.
Sharon is panting like a dog on a heat alert day. In a breathy, panicked groan, Sharon says “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! I HAVE A CRAMP!” I think, duh, of course you do! But I actually I say back, “What kind of cramp do you think you have?”
“I DON’T KNOW, I DON’T KNOW!” Sharon replies, in pain.
I reply, “Do you think it is a charlie horse cramp? A menstrual cramp? An I-gotta-poo cramp?…”
“I think I need to take a shit! I gotta take a shit!”
Before I can look to the approaching paramedics wandering around the race to make sure runners are okay, Sharon darts behind a fraser fir, squats down and does her business right then and there.
The path, where runners continue to pass us by, is about 5 meters away from the tree and as runners pass, they can see what Sharon is doing once they hit a certain angle. My friend looks like she might keel over in her state, so I wait by another tree in case she does. The final piece of this ordeal was that we were in the middle of a marathon, so we didn’t exactly have water bottles, phones, keys, or tissue with us, if you get my drift…
Sharon and I got back together after the um, cramping subsided and we continued on. We walked briskly through the Sunnybrook Park course and ran the final kilometer. We finished the Toronto Women’s Run 5km race in 48 minutes. And with only a bruised bum!